When we ask dancers why they dance, we get to know many perspectives. Some say they do so for their happiness and peace; some do so as it is their first love; and some consider it as a pathway to connect with the Divine. Speaking for myself, I find it important to connect with my audience; but most importantly, to connect with my students while teaching them.
Recently while teaching Bharata's Nayika descriptions to my students, I realised that they had a very different mindset about the whole situation the Nayika was in. While the traditional Virahotkanthita was engrossed in great sorrow due to the separation from her Nayaka, my students felt that she should develop her own life/career and a circle of friends rather than mourning over the estrangement. After giving it a fair thought myself, I too came to the conclusion that maybe new areas of abhinaya need to be explored.
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